SC seeks answers on offshore companies, Maryam’s legal status in Panamagate case
ISLAMABAD: A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali took up the Panamagate case on Tuesday and sought three important answers from Sharif family regarding their offshore companies, Maryam Nawaz’s financial and legal status and lastly, about the accuracy of premier’s past speeches on the issue.
“It is now the responsibility of the defendants to provide evidence after claiming their properties,” said Justice Khosa during the hearing.
Saying it was important for the defendants to clear their positions, Justice Amir Muslim explained, “It was the main charge that their offshore companies and properties were created through illegal means.”
Supreme Court asked:
- How did Prime Minister Sharif’s children create their companies?
- Is Maryam Nawaz dependent on someone?
- Did Prime Minister Sharif’s tell the truth in his three speeches on Panamagate?
The apex court also raised the issue of Maryam Nawaz’s dependency matter and even asked Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) lead counsel in the Panamagate case Naeem Bukhari to find out the definition of dependent children as per the law of Pakistan for assistance in the case.
Prime Minister’s lawyer Salman Butt told the court that Maryam Nawaz was not her father’s dependent child during 2011 and 2012.
Tracing money trail regarding Sharif family’s properties in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and London, the court asked how money was transferred to Dubai.
Naeem Bukhari reiterated that the prime minister for long had been misleading the nation through false statements on the corruption charges against him.
Chief Awami Muslim League (AML) Sheikh Rasheed told the court that he used to live in Sharif’s Park Lane flats in London during 2006.
Requests to hold day-to-day proceedings
During the case hearing, PTI and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), as petitioners and the family of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as defendants, requested the larger bench to hold day-to-day proceedings.
Senior lawyer Akram Sheikh, representing PM Sharif’s children in the high-profile case, submitted an application requesting to hear the case on a daily basis while raising concerns that a delay could cause serious problems.
JI wants commission to probe Panamagate
Meanwhile, JI lawyers put forward a similar demand and asked the court to create a commission to probe the case.
“We will make a commission only when it becomes inevitable to do so,” said Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali.
Expressing annoyance during the case hearing, the CJP said when the state institutions failed to resolve the Panamagate issue, only then the Supreme Court had to intervene and added that the court would use all available options to solve the case.
Hearing of the case will resume on Wednesday (tomorrow).
The Panamagate Scandal appeared in April 2016 when names of several Pakistanis including Nawaz Sharif’s children surfaced in one of the world’s biggest ever data leaks through an online searchable database made public by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
PTI proved PM Sharif lied to nation: says Khan
Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday said that his party proved that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was lying to the nation during his addresses on Panamagate scandal and now his legal team would have to answer Supreme Court’s questions through evidence in the court.
Speaking to media after the court’s hearing in the federal capital, Khan said PTI has done its part in the fight against corruption and now the defendants must speak up.
He also congratulated PTI’s legal team and Naeem Bukhari for putting up a strong case against a person, who was being supported by the government and a team of ministers.